Over the past several months, Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA) Secretary-designee James Bond has traveled to each of Wisconsin’s 11 federally recognized Tribes to meet with leaders and Tribal Veteran Service Officers to discuss the issues unique to veterans in their communities. Secretary-designee Bond was pleased to be accompanied by the Department’s new Tribal Liaison, Melissa Doud.
“I was honored to be a guest with each of Wisconsin’s Tribes as we discussed how our sovereign nations could best work together for veterans,” said Secretary-designee Bond. “Native Americans have one of the highest representations in the armed forces, and we are indebted to them for their service. That means meeting them where they are and ensuring they receive all the benefits and services they’ve earned while respecting their culture and celebrating their contributions.”
Secretary-designee Bond heard many of the same concerns from each of the meetings with leaders, including access to health care, mental health care, housing, employment, and a need for more services to aid in the transition from military to civilian life.
“I am a proud member of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians and a 20-year Army Veteran, and I’m deeply committed to advocating for Tribal communities and my fellow veterans,” said WDVA Tribal Liaison Doud. “These visits are just the start as we make every effort to work together and build relationships to get the needed services to Tribal veterans.”
Secretary-designee Bond and Doud visited the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, and Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa in June; the Saint Croix Chippewa and Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa in July; the Ho-Chunk Nation in August; and the Sokaogon Chippewa Community (Mole Lake), Forest County Potawatomi, Stockbridge-Munsee, Menominee Tribe of Wisconsin, and the Oneida Nation in October.